Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis Ordinances & Regulations

Ordinances and Regulations

Chapter 20.80 of Title 20: Zoning Ordinance

Chapter 6.88 of Title 6: Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis Ordinance

City Manager Regulations

Proposition 64

Council and committee meetings

The following ordinances, along with the City Manager Regulations for Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis, set forth the rules for operating a cannabis business in San Jose:

Chapter 20.80 The Zoning Ordinance

Chapter 20.80 of the San Jose Zoning Ordinance regulates the location in the City where medical cannabis collectives, medical cannabis businesses, and non-medical cannabis businesses may locate.

Medical cannabis collectives, medical cannabis businesses, and non-medical cannabis businesses are not allowed to locate within:

  • 1,000 feet of:
    • A public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school;
    • A child daycare center;
    • A community or recreation center;
    • A park; or
    • A library
  • 500 feet of:
    • A substance abuse rehabilitation center; or
    • An emergency residential shelter
  • 150 feet of places of:
    • A religious assembly;
    • An adult daycare center; or
    • A residential use (including legal non-conforming residential use)
  • 50 feet of another collective or cannabis business*

*Excluding the 50-foot buffer between two cultivation-only sites and/or a shared cultivation-only site. A cultivation-only site would still be required to be separated by at least 50 feet from a dispensing location

Compliant zoning areas

Medical cannabis collectives, medical cannabis businesses, and non-medical cannabis businesses can locate in the following zoning districts:

  • Light Industrial (LI)
  • Heavy Industrial (HI)
  • Combined Industrial/Commercial (CIC)
  • Industrial Park (IP)
  • Downtown Primary Commercial (DC) – 2nd Story Only

Illustrative Map Showing Parcels Potentially Compliant with the Medical and Non-Medical cannabis business Land Use Ordinance

Noncompliant zoning areas

Medical cannabis collectives, medical cannabis businesses, and non-medical cannabis businesses are not allowed to locate in the following policy areas, business parks or zones:

Chapter 6.88 The Regulatory Ordinance

Chapter 6.88 of the San Jose Municipal Code establishes the rules and parameters regarding the operational requirements for how medical cannabis collectives, medical cannabis businesses, and non-medical cannabis businesses function in the City.

Registered cannabis businesses are required to follow state laws and regulations.  They must also comply with several operational requirements set forth in Chapter 6.88 of the San Jose Municipal Code including, but not limited to, the following:

  • No collective or cannabis business shall dispense cannabis from more than one location in the city (6.88.310.A.);
  • Hours of operation for storefronts are between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (6.88.440.A.);
  • Only the 16 registered cannabis businesses in San Jose may apply for registration to deliver medical and non-medical cannabis (6.88.445 C);
  • Hours of operation for deliveries (after being approved for deliveries by the Chief of Police) are from 8:00 a.m. to10:00 p.m. Pacific Time (CMO 4.4 C-k).
  • No person under the age of 21 shall be allowed at the location. The collective or cannabis business shall verify the age of every person entering the premises with an electronic age verification device (6.88.440.F);
  • No medical cannabis transfers shall be made by a collective to a person under the age of 21 (6.88.440.G.);
  • Cannabis may not be inhaled, smoked, eaten, ingested, vaped or otherwise used or consumed at the premises and/or location, in the parking areas of the premises and/or location, within three hundred feet of the premises and/or location on the public right-of-way (6.88.440.N.);
  • Outdoor cultivation is prohibited within the City of San Jose (6.88.430.E.);
  • All cannabis shall be packaged in a tamper-evident, child-resistant package (6.88.460.A.);
  • Each owner, manager, and individual member working at the collective or cannabis business shall wear in plain sight a valid identification badge issued by the Chief of Police (6.88.425.A.);

Collectives or cannabis businesses must not create or allow a public nuisance on the premises or within 300 feet of the premises, including the following set forth in the San Jose Municipal Code 6.88.490:

  • disturbance of the peace;
  • illegal drug activity;
  • public drunkenness;
  • drinking in public;
  • gambling;
  • prostitution;
  • sale of stolen goods;
  • public urination;
  • theft;
  • assaults;
  • batteries; or
  • acts of vandalism

City Manager Regulations for Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis

The City Manager Regulations for Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis promulgates additional regulations necessary to implement the requirements of the San Jose Municipal Code

Proposition 64

Commercial use

On November 8, 2016, the voters of California approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Proposition 64 legalized the non-medical use of cannabis by persons aged 21 and older.

Proposition 64 created a state regulatory and licensing system for the commercial cultivation, testing, distribution, and manufacture of non-medical cannabis and non-medical cannabis products.

Only registered cannabis businesses are authorized to dispense medical and non-medical cannabis.

Proposition 64 only allows the sale of recreational/adult use cannabis by state-licensed retailers. The state began issuing cannabis licenses in December 2017 with an effective date of January 1, 2018.  Under Proposition 64, you cannot get a state license if you are violating local law. 

Proposition 64 allows for the following:

Personal Use: Possession

Under Proposition 64, a person 21 and older may possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, or give away to persons 21 years of age or older without any compensation whatsoever, not more than 28.5 grams of cannabis not in the form of concentrated cannabis.

Under Proposition 64 a person age 21 or older may possess for personal use the following:

  • Not more than 28.5 grams of dried flower;
  • Not more than 8 grams of concentrated cannabis;
  • Not more than 6 plants per residence (NOT per person) for cultivation

Personal Use: Consumption

Under Proposition 64, it is illegal to use cannabis in public. This includes smoking, vaping, ingesting edibles, etc.

Some other places where it’s illegal to use cannabis: 

  • While driving or riding in a car, boat, vessel, aircraft or other vehicle used for transportation
  • In parks or on trails
  • In restaurants or bars
  • Near schools
  • Near building entrances
  • On the sidewalk
  • At the bus or light rail stop

To file a complaint regarding a violation of the personal use consumption laws or regulations contact the San Jose Police Department’s non-emergency number at 311 or 408-277-8900.

Keep your consumption at home. If you light up, please be respectful of your neighbors. Secondhand cannabis smoke can have serious impacts on children, seniors, those with asthma and allergies, and others.

Personal Use: Cultivation

Under Proposition 64, you are not allowed to grow more than six plants per residence, no matter how many people live in your residence.

Selling the cannabis you cultivate requires a state license.

In San Jose, you must grow your cannabis plants indoors, either inside the residence where you live or in a secure accessory building.  If you are a renter, get permission from your landlord before growing cannabis at the property.  Outdoor cultivation is prohibited in all areas of San Jose.

Other San Jose regulations:

  • Lock up your cannabis plants and products so children can’t get to them
  • Get required electrical and building permits. (DON’T plug grow lights into extension cords!)
  • No extraction using CO2, butane, propane, or other hazardous chemicals
  • Don’t use CO2 in growing your plants
  • Control your odors. Your plants cannot create a neighborhood nuisance

To file a complaint regarding a violation of the personal use cultivation laws or regulations, contact the Code Enforcement department at 408-535-7770 or on-line at Code Enforcement: Service Request Form

Commercial Use: Dispensaries, Stores, Cultivation, Manufacturing, Delivery, etc.

The only legal cannabis operations in San Jose are the registered cannabis businesses already authorized to dispense medical and non-medical cannabis.  All other cannabis enterprises are prohibited at this time.

This means, if you are not one of our registered cannabis businesses, it is ILLEGAL in San Jose to:

  • Open a cannabis store
  • Grow cannabis for sale
  • Manufacture, extract, deliver, distribute, or transport cannabis for sale.

A state license is required to open a cannabis business in California.  Opening a cannabis business without a state license is no different than opening a bar or liquor store without a state ABC license.  It’s against the law.

Council and Committee Meetings related to Cannabis

Click on the link to review past reports, information and draft ordinances related to the medical and non-medical cannabis program.  For video, audio or transcripts of the City Council or Committee Meetings, please visit CivicCenter TV.

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